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Landlords battle new laws with Facebook.

PRIVATE sector landlords are breaking new ground by using Facebook as their latest weapon to fight the government.

It is the first time that the Residential Landlords Association (RLA) has used social networking tactics to broaden the fight and involve tenants who will be directly affected by new government legislation.

New planning laws are set to change the way that rented accommodation is categorised in a move to break up clusters of student housing surrounding the UK's universities and colleges.

And the new Use Classes Orders will also affect other tenant groups who share houses, including young professionals, key workers and low-income migrants.

Landlords could now need planning permission to rent out a house or flat, previously occupied by a single person or family, to a group of between three or more unrelated tenants. Landlords view this as a major threat, not only to an entire sector of the shared housing market but also to the restaurants, bars, shops and convenience stores that have grown around them to serve their needs.

Alan Ward, RLA chairman, said: "The sole aim of the Facebook group is to support the freedom of students to live wherever they want and stop this blatant government discrimination against them."

He warned: "At the moment, it's the country's 2.5 million students who are mainly affected but the same legislation could be aimed at nurses, young professionals, even elderly people."
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Apr 20, 2010
Words:233
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